July 22, 2009 (La Mesa)—Grossmont Union High School District’s board of trustees will hold a special meeting Wednesday July 23 at 5 p.m. to review an amendment to the Helix Charter. The amendment was devised by the Helix Charter Board and two GUHSD board members to address the board’s concerns over handling of sexual misconduct cases.
“Our entire board is expected to approve this,” Catherine Martin, GUHSD spokesperson, told East County Magazine in an e-mail received today.
As a result, a planned hearing on revoking the Helix charter will be cancelled, Martin added. “The next step is that the Helix faculty will have to ratify it by 51%, which is expected to happen before the first week in September. We expect that they would ratify it. If for some reason they don’t, the District will move forward with revocation.”
On July 9th, the Board voted to move forward with holding a hearing on charter revocation, issuing the following media statement: http://portal.guhsd.net/GUHSD/GUHSD_Media_Statement_7_9_2009.pdf , as East County Magazine has previously reported: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/1621. (For more details on the sexual misconduct cases, see http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=433_helix_hight_sex_scandal and http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=449_school_board_grills_helix_offic... .)
On July 21st, the Helix Charter High School Board held a special meeting and voted to adopt three GUHSD policies in order to halt the charter revocation process. Specifically, the board authorized allocation of funds to use GUHSD services for training on child abuse reporting and employee/student interaction policies, and also voted to recommend an amendment to change composition of the Helix Charter Board, how members are selected and who is eligible to service.
“There were no issues with adopting the District’s policies, as they are very similar to those already in place at Helix,” Giff Asimos, Helix teacher and Secretary of the Charter Board stated in a press release issued yesterday. “We have always been open to adopting any policy that reflects the best practices in the areas of student safety, and this was expressed clearly to members of the GUHSD board.”
The District’s legal counsel has assured Helix Charter Board members that the items approved address all the concerns of GUHSD to resolve the issues, Asimos added. “We have done everything that they asked us to do, and we are confident that the GUHSD Board will take the appropriate action and approve the Cure and Correct actions taken by the Helix Charter Board.”